Supersonic Air Flow due to Solid-Liquid Impact

S. Gekle, I.R. Peters, Jose Manuel Gordillo, Roger M. van der Meer, Detlef Lohse

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A solid object impacting on liquid creates a liquid jet due to the collapse of the impact cavity. Using visualization experiments with smoke particles and multiscale simulations, we show that in addition, a high-speed air jet is pushed out of the cavity. Despite an impact velocity of only 1  m/s, this air jet attains supersonic speeds already when the cavity is slightly larger than 1 mm in diameter. The structure of the air flow closely resembles that of compressible flow through a nozzle—with the key difference that here the “nozzle” is a liquid cavity shrinking rapidly in time
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)024501-1-024501-4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2010


  • METIS-263397
  • IR-79234

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